1947 Tech 🇮🇳: 69

Shiva Singh Sangwan
4 min readMay 12, 2019

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Once a week newsletter: Insights on Tech, markets, startups, venture capital, and foreign investments in India

1. India’s top 100 unicorns will have more software companies than China: GGV Capital’s Hans Tung

Hans Tung, a high-profile investor ranked seventh on the Forbes’ ‘Midas List 2019’, has been tracking India closely, discussing early proposals with entrepreneurs to back Indian startups. The 48-year-old managing partner at venture firm GGV Capital had spotted companies such as ByteDance, Slack, Didi Chuxing, Wish, and Lime, among other unicorns.

He thinks India will have more SaaS (software as a service) unicorns than China by the time the number of startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more hits the 100-mark in India.

He also thinks in order to outcompete US and Chinese companies, the Indian entrepreneurs would need to move quickly. This is exactly how Chinese companies won against US companies in China.

It will come down to execution, speed, and quality of products Indians startups produce.

2. Big rounds of Funding: Online Grocery Bigbasket and Logistic startup Blackbuck

Supermarket Grocery Supplies, which owns and runs BigBasket, has closed $150 million in funding led by Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, Alibaba and UK government-owned CDC Group. The latest funding propels the online grocery platform’s valuation to over $1 billion.

BigBasket will operationally break even in six-eight months once it hits the $800-million revenue run rate.

Fore more

Inter-city trucking and supply chain startup BlackBuck has raised $150 million in Series-D funding, led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Accel US, with participation from B Capital and Sequoia Capital.

The latest round takes the total amount of funds raised to over $230 million and values the Bengaluru-based Zinka Logistics Solutions, which runs BlackBuck, at around $950 million.

BlackBuck competes with the Rivigo, backed by SAIF Partners and Warburg Pincus, and the SoftBank-funded Delhivery in its trucking business vertical, and Matrix Partners-backed Loadshare in its B2B business.

These startups compete in an unorganized sector where 85% of the trucking market is made up of small fleet owners who have between 5 and 20 trucks.

3. Early-stage firms get big bucks, but funding rounds come down

The average capital raised by early-stage startups in India has doubled over the last three years due to increased interest shown by large venture funds to bet early, but the number of companies getting funds has come down.

With top venture funds including Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, SAIF Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, Nexus Ventures and Matrix Partners vying to get a toehold in fledgling startups as early as possible, startup founders are increasingly skipping angel rounds and opting to raise larger first cheques averaging more than $1.2 million

Just three years ago, a seed-stage round size was typically $60,000, according to Tracxn. At the same time, the number of startups established has plummeted to about 1,800 in 2018 from 13,000 in 2015.

The startup ecosystem in India is maturing. Only high-quality teams are getting funded.

4. ‘Super app’ to place Reliance Jio in pole position

China pioneered the concept of Super App. WeChat and Alipay are the two most prominent super apps of China.

After seeing the success of Super apps in China, companies in other countries followed suit. Go-jek in Indonesia, Grab in Malaysia and now India may finally see its first successful super app.

Snapdeal, Paytm, Freecharge, Flipkart and Hike have tried but failed.

As Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani prepares to officially launch world’s largest online-to-offline new e-commerce platform and give jitters to Amazon and Walmart-Flipkart, Reliance Jio is reportedly working on a “super app” that will provide over 100 services at one platform.

Reliance Jio’s “super app” will facilitate e-commerce, online bookings, and payments — all at one place.

A week in review

Thank you for reading. Please share any feedback, questions or comments with me on Twitter :)

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Shiva Singh Sangwan

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